Use tags for improved user experience on niche websites

When we create a niche site we work hard to stay relevant and on topic. Here I will explain why you should use tags for improved user experience when creating a niche website.

At the end of the article I will give you step by step instructions on how to create tags in WordPress.

But first let’s quickly look at the difference between categories and tags in WordPress.

What is a tag? A tag is a label given to an article. Any given article can be given one or several tags. For example, a website about Travelling with toddlers can have these tags:

  • Domestic travel
  • Cruises
  • International travel

What is a category? A category is like a container where you put articles belonging to the same subject. Each article is placed into one category. For example, a website about boats can have these categories:

  • Sail boats
  • Catamarans
  • Motor boats

Categories and tags in WordPress

It is easy to be confused when looking into Categories and Tags when we build our website.

Should we use them? One of them? And which one is better?

The short answer is that neither is necessary but both can be useful when building a website. 

The main difference between Categories and Tags is in how they are meant to be used. A post can have many Tags but should only belong to one category.

Let’s start with looking at categories first.

Categories for websites with more than one subject

In the article about managing categories we used an example of a website about boats. 

We concluded that we use “categories to group together posts of our choosing in a container of our choosing”.

In our example we used the categories Sailboats, Catamarans and Motorboats.

Another example where categories can be useful is if you have one website with different subjects.

If you write about “Travel” and “Making Money Online” it would make sense to use different categories named “Travel” and “Make Money”.

This serves two purposes. 

On the one hand it will be easier for a visitor to find information about the topic they are interested in. They will arrive at your website and can use the navigation menu to find articles or posts of interest by searching in these two different categories: “Travel” or “Make Money”

More importantly it tells the search engines crawling your website that your website is about Travel and Make Money Online. 

Without any categorization you could run the risk of appearing unfocused and irrelevant. And this could hurt your chances of ranking well.

So what about Tags then?

Tags and niche websites

Tags are perfect to use when we create niche websites. A niche website is defined as a website that is focused on one subject. 

And we use tags for improved user experience and to provide structure.

A niche website would not be about “Travel”. Instead we would write about “Travel with toddlers” or “Backpacking as a single woman”. 

We define our niche more narrowly and create content with depth and detail.

But even a well defined and narrow niche can have sub niches that we need to cover. 

And even though these subniches are related they cover different areas.

“Travel with toddlers” may have posts about “Domestic travel”, “Cruises” as well as “International travel”. 

Do we really want to group these together? Will that create a good user experience? 

Using tags for improved user experience

When we create Tags we can choose to group posts together while still signaling that they are related to our main subject.

We would create three tags named “Domestic travel”, “Cruises” and “International travel”. 

If we write a post about a domestic cruise we can choose to add Tags for both “Domestic travel” and “Cruises”.

And when we assign a Tag to a post a page is automatically created listing all other posts with that same Tag. 

Now that is providing a great user experience.

I will no longer have to look through all the posts on the website looking for more relevant information. 

Instead I simply go to the relevant Tag page. Here I will find all posts related to my original question about for example domestic travel with toddlers. 

How to create tags in WordPress

Creating the actual tags is actually quite simple. The real work starts before we log into the WordPress dashboard.

1. Deciding what to name our Tags

First task is to decide how we will label our different posts and articles with Tags that make sense.

Your Tags should be no more than 2-3 words. The Tags need to be specific but at the same time general enough to match more than one article.

To give an example I use Tags such as Optimize images and Create Website here on Gameplan Financial Independence.

2. Create the tags in WordPress

Create tags in WordPress Dashboard
Adding Tags in WordPress Dashboard

When we have our list of Tag names and descriptions it is time to log into the WordPress Dashboard.

After login we click Posts > Tags.

The page that loads asks us for 3 pieces of information to create our Tags.

  1. Name:
    Simply the name we decided in step 1. Example: Create Website
  2. Slug:
    Use the name you have chosen, all lower case letters and replace blank spaces with hyphens (-). Example: create-website
  3. Description:
    Describe what type of articles that will be given the tag you create. Not all WordPress themes use this description. Example: Tutorial on how to create a website with WordPress.

When you have completed all three fields you click Add New Tag

We repeat this process until we have created all our Tags.

3. Assign tags to articles or posts

Add tags to new and existing posts in WordPress editor

With Tags created we need to start using them for our new and existing posts. 

For new as well as existing posts we simply add the Tag in the editor as we are creating or editing the post.

You can also use the Quick Edit feature by going to Posts > All Posts and covering your mouse pointer over any given post.

And there you have it. We have added our Tags.

Tags created – now what?

Tag page lists all related articles and posts with the same Tag

The goal was to use tags for improved user experience.

You have now created Tags to label posts that belong together.

What happens next?

Go to your website and visit one of your posts.

The Tag you have assigned to the post will now be visible.

Try clicking the Tag and you will be taken to a page that lists all posts that have been assigned that particular Tag.

Now, that is how we use tags for improved user experience! 

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Meet the author: Serial entrepreneur and travel industry expert with more than 20 years working experience from web development, Wordpress and the travel industry. Mattias is a big fan of Open Source and will show you how to build and manage a website using Wordpress and a bit of optional PHP for the true enthusiast. Mattias identifies with self-starters and entrepreneurs and also shares ideas on how to monetize a website.